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The speaker on 'A Case Study for Proactive Supply Chain Management' was Catherine Herr, a Senior Director of Global Manufacturing Procurement at a Fortune 500 Company. Her presentation centered around that company’s response to the March 2010 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. What captured me immediately about this webinar is that she told us the STORY of the disaster and the outcome and responses rather than just walking us through bullet points on a slide.
To give you some of the factual basics, her company’s annual risk assessment ranks suppliers high, medium or low on nine areas of risk. These areas were put together by a cross functional team that involved both procurement and business owners:
When they started managing risk they did not involve suppliers for fear of revealing how immature their program was. They have now reached a place where suppliers are routinely asked to participate in risk mitigation planning during review meetings.
Catherine’s advice on starting a risk management program? Just pick somewhere and start, because as overwhelming as it may seem, anything is better than nothing. Aim for something “accessible and understandable” and keep everything in perspective (for example, she offered up that lost sales are more expensive than lost inventory).
So what well and what went poorly in their response to the Japanese tsunami?
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